4 metro Detroit hospital systems, university collaborating on Covid-19 drug trial

Four hospital systems in metro Detroit and a leading research university are teaming together to bring large-scale drug trials for the coronavirus Covid-19 to southeast Michigan.

The partnership between doctors from Henry Ford Health System, Ascension Michigan, Beaumont, DMC and Wayne State University was announced Friday.

“The FDA basically has given permission for expedited, temporary authorization to trial drugs given the pandemic that’s going on currently,” said Dr. Shukri David, the chair of cardiovascular services with Ascension Michigan.

Dr. David says one of the drug trials involves taking plasma from patients who have recovered from Covid-19 and then developed an immunity to a second infection.

“What we would do is take their plasma and give them to patients that are currently struggling with the infection, hoping those antibodies will allow the body to fight the infection,” he explained.

While this clinical drug trial is being tested, it hasn't been proven to work yet.

“The hope is we've already met with various societies within Michigan that handle blood products. We’re having conversations with them about an expedited process, so we’re in the very early but accelerated phase of the investigation,” he said.

He called this a “once-in-a-century” event.

More information on particular trials underway in the United States can be found at www.clinicaltrials.gov.